Ever since 8th Fire aired last week I’ve seen dialog about the show everywhere, from twitter to facebook.  I’m happy to see that this topic is finally being talked about and people are being educated. It was well put together and researched, very educational.

I found myself looking back on my life, this brought up other realizations of stereo types or myths about being Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nations in Canada ;

“Nice costume” – I’ve heard this many times throughout my life.  This comment refers to Native/Indigenous/Aboriginal/First Nations reglia (reglia – Mens/Womens Fancy/Shawl outfits; Womens/Men Traditional outfits).  Which is often seen at Pow-wows.  The reglia/outfit has cultural and used to, and still may to some have a spiritural meaning.  Womens Fancy/Shawl has meaning and a story has to how it orginated, as do the other style of dances.

“How Native are you?” – Growing up, once non-native people learned that I was Native/First Nations, they would look at me baffled and ask this question, “How Native are you?”  Because they either thought there were no more Native/First Nations people left in Canada. In fact, most people thought I was Spanish, or something other than Native/First Nations.  

“I am part Native myself you know” – In attempt to relate most non-native people would end up saying something a long these lines.  Or, ask if you know “so-and-so”, because their Native/First Nations too.

“I really love your hair! Can I touch it?” – Yes, to some Native/First Nations people there are still traditional reason as to why they grow their hair long. For some men, the reason is: it is believed that the Earth is of a female spirit which gives humans things to sustain our life; then there are women whom bring life into the world, by giving birth. Therefore, men show their respect and honor for the female by growing his hair.  But, growing our hair long as locked us into a stereo type that many have come to accept and only recongize.  But, today many Native/First Nations people  have many different hair styles.

Below, are among other stereo typical comments that I will go further into at a later time. But as you can see there are many.

“I learned all your people’s way”; “My great-great grandmother was full-blooded Native princess”, “You do not look Native”, “What is a reserve?”, “Do you live in a Tipi?”, “What is the meaning behind the pow wow?”, “What is your feeling about casinos? Do they really help your people or are they just a short-term fix?”.

8th Fire Documentary


et cetera